The Scars Inside
This week Alex posted a rather brilliant post called When the Scars Fade. It looks at the aspects of how the scarring of self harm can be a physical validation for the mental illness, and the struggle that arises when that visible proof begins to disappear. It’s something I know I’ve struggled with, as have many others judging by the messages we get on Twitter. It seems to be part and parcel of the journey. What I want to look at this week is the scars you don’t see.
My external scars are fading, even despite a spirited attempt last night with my fingernails to reopen them. It’s odd. I’m improving. The medication is working. So why? Why in a moment of struggling did I turn against myself again? The answer is worryingly simple. The scars inside are not healed.
Stupid, isn’t it? Something can be said, an event can happen, or even just a random thought can reopen that mental scar, leaving us raw and vulnerable once again. The darkness opens its welcoming arms once more to wrap itself around us and convince us of our worthlessness.
Right now I’m back in therapy to help me close those wounds and I’ll be honest I’m not sure how well it’s going. I’ve only had two sessions so far so we’ll see how we go. But I’ve been here before, I should be better at the techniques than the therapist by now!
But one thing I do know from all the therapies I’ve been through before is the scars will always be there. The hurts of rejection, loneliness, self-doubt are always going to be there. Every desecration of my self-esteem, my sense of worth, they are all built into the scars. I cannot simply pretend they don’t exist.
Part of The Journey
In fact pretending that those wounds aren’t there isn’t going to help. Accepting them is part of my journey. As I’m writing this, I’m listening to music and a song from the Disney movie ‘Moana’ has popped on. It’s a song that keeps popping up at the moment for me (watch out for the upcoming podcast where Alex and I discuss music and how it affects us or check out Alex’s post on music) and there’s a couple of lines that keep standing out to me.
“Sometimes the world seems against you, the journey may leave a scar. But scars can heal and reveal just where you are. The people you love will change you, the things you have learnt will guide you. And nothing on earth can silence the quiet voice still inside you.”
It’s beautiful. And it’s a message that speaks to me and I hope reaches out to everyone else who is struggling. Those internal scars are not a bad thing, they are a part of what makes who you are but they do not define you. Like the physical scars I’ve inflicted upon myself they will fade too. Neither will go away completely, but to quote another character from ‘Moana’, “The tapestry here on my skin, is a map of the victories I win.” I’m still here, I am the sum of everything that I have gone through and I am still standing albeit a bit shakier than before. The scars both physical and mental tell the story of me. Yes, not all of it is pleasant, but it’s mine and I’ve got more chapters ahead of me. You do too.
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